Transforming lives in Ethiopia

Ache’s Story

Reading time: 2 min

Ache Ambo, now in her 50s, sustained an obstetric fistula injury giving birth to her stillborn baby.  

She never recovered mentally nor physically from this trauma and following childbirth, lived the next three decades of her life ashamed to tell anyone of her problem. She was isolated from her family, working on the farm, or washing clothes for a living, away from others.

After a chance visit to a new health post, Ache met Dr Ambaye, fistula surgeon and founder of our partner, Hope of Light. Ache’s incontinence had become so much a part of her that she hadn’t even thought to ask about it. But she discovered she could be treated, free of charge.

“Ache’s eyes were begging me to change her life.”

Dr Ambaye, Hope of Light

Ache’s operation was successful. After 30 long years, she is now completely dry. Dry from incontinence, yet she wept so many happy tears for days while recovering.

Like all Dr Ambaye’s patients, Ache was given a new dress and she returned home to her village with a new lease of life – free to make the most of the many years left to her.

Ache’s story eventually has a happy ending, but we know that there are so many more women who never make it to find help. The cost of travelling through the rural landscape, childcare needs, fear of the unknown and loss of earnings are all too daunting to consider leaving home. Those patients who are found are the lucky ones.

To help us to reach more women like Ache living with fistula, please make a donation today.

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